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Australian government set to train dogs to detect citrus canker disease

The Australian government has committed to $265,000 of funding that will go toward training dogs in the Northern Territory to detect citrus canker disease. Northern Australia poses a high-risk pathway for exotic pests and diseases like citrus canker that threaten agriculture productivity, exports, and the environment.

Canker disease if infected can potentially bring a grower and an industry to a grinding stop. The training program uses synthetic compounds that mimic the scent of plants infected with the disease and has been showing successful results with one dog demonstrating a 96 per cent accuracy rate.

The funding has been provided through the Australian Government's Immediate Assistance Fund that aims to assist state and territory governments and industry to rapidly respond to, or prepare for, significant exotic pest and disease incursions.


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